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Guidelines for Annual Meeting Site Selection
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January 31, 2012

The SEM Annual Meeting is typically held from a Thursday to a Sunday in October or November. The meeting currently attracts approximately 800-1000 attendees, close to half of whom are graduate students. Attendees travel to the meeting from across the United State and throughout the world.

SEM generally selects sites for its Annual Meeting at least three years in advance. We welcome proposals from institutions for hosting the meeting and maintain a standard Request for Proposals form for this purpose. After the SEM Board approves a meeting site, the meeting is organized collaboratively by the SEM Business Office, the Local Arrangements Committee, the Program Committee, and SEM's contracted professional meeting planner: Indiana University Conferences.

SEM considers the following factors in selecting a meeting site:

  • Proximity of a university ethnomusicology program willing to host the meeting.
  • Multiple large hotels than can accommodate the meeting and bid competitively.
  • Affordability of hotel guest room rates and contractual terms and fees.
  • Quality of air service and transportation infrastructure.
  • Variety of nearby restaurants, music venues, and sites of interest to our members.
  • Geographic diversity of meeting sites over time.

SEM also gives strong preference to:

  • Hotels whose staff is represented by a union.
  • Hotels with active sustainability policies and programs.
  • Locales with living wage ordinances.
  • Locales that have demonstrated a commitment to anti-discrimination policies in regard to the rights and privileges extended to LGBT communities and members of sexual minorities.

In selecting dates for an Annual Meeting, SEM attempts to avoid conflicts with the meeting dates of the American Anthropological Association, American Folklore Society, American Musicological Society, College Music Society, American Studies Association, and African Studies Association.

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